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Sunday Bird Droppings: Heading into Christmas week

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Do you still have Christmas shopping to do? The Orioles need a shortstop, but probably won’t get him before the holiday.

MLB Opening Day Postponed Due To Coronavirus Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 102 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game. With anonymous owners being quoted last week about possibly shortening next season depending on COVID vaccine distribution, we cannot take for granted that the game will happen on that date, but for now it’s the best we’ve got.

We’re almost down to a double digit number. We might even be below the number of losses the 2021 Orioles would have if they get to play a full season. Isn’t that exciting?

Hopefully you’ve got all of your holiday shopping done by now. I ended up waiting until just a few days before Christmas last year and I had some real regrets over that strategy. It’d probably be even worse to have waited this long this year if you have to wait for stuff to get shipped.

The easiest way to handle holiday shopping is to not have any holiday shopping to do at all. That’s the Orioles method. OK, they made a couple of Rule 5 picks earlier in the month, but that hardly counts. It’s not like anyone could have expected anything different over this offseason.

Some media people mocked Mike Elias’s statement that it wasn’t time yet to flip the switch to maximize wins in the coming season. It was an honest assessment. The Orioles probably had no combination of trades or free agent signings to make them a team expected to be good in 2021. So that means doing not much in December, or January, or February either. Maybe a year from now we’ll be singing a different tune.

And the Orioles probably do have a shortstop on their shopping list, since they traded Jose Iglesias away. We’ll see if whoever they do sign ends up being a major league contract, or if it’s someone who has to settle for a minor league deal.

Around the blogO’sphere

Resuming rumblings on the 40-man roster (School of Roch)
Roch feels that the pattern suggests that the Orioles will have at least a little 40-man roster upheaval before the next season begins. I agree with that assessment.

2020 was an interesting season for Orioles rookie Bruce Zimmermann (Baltimore Baseball)
As stories go, it’s tough to beat “Baltimore guy gets to play for the Orioles.” I’ll be happy for Zimmermann if he can stick around for a little while.

The diminishing (but positive) returns of tanking (Fangraphs)
Fangraphs presents a lot of tables in support of the conclusion that the more teams that are tanking, the worse of a proposition it is to keep tanking.

A few O’s questions that are still unanswered (Steve Melewski)
“Who will play shortstop?” is the top question, followed by “How will Trey Mancini do?” I’m more interested in that second one than the first one.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1995, the Orioles signed B.J. Surhoff to a three-year contract. In 2000, they signed Mike Bordick to a two-year contract after trading him away during the 2000 season.

One lone former Oriole was born on this day. That is 2007-09 first baseman Aubrey Huff. Owing to comments he made about Baltimore during his tenure here, I do not wish him a happy birthday.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: tire man Harvey Firestone (1868), physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff (1901), Law & Order creator Dick Wolf (1946), and actor Jonah Hill (1983).

On this day in history...

In 1192, England’s king Richard I was captured and then imprisoned by Austria’s Leopold V while returning from the Third Crusade. That’s not very nice.

In 1803, the Louisiana Territory was formally ceded by France to the United States of America.

In 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life premiered in New York City.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 20. Have a safe Sunday.